Rhonda Lee Fired For Responding to Comments About Her Natural Hair

 

Whitney and I met Rhonda Lee in Austin, Texas last year. She had an amazing spirit and shared her love for Sporty Afros and our mission.  She is one of a few women meteorologist and I have enjoyed watching her on-camera when I can.

Unfortunately, Rhonda Lee was fired from the ABC affiliate in Shreveport, La. because she responded to a racial remark posted by a viewer on the station’s Facebook page regarding her hair.  This entire situation seems odd. There are numerous  black reporters who wear their hair natural in front of the camera.

Natural Hair is Becoming More Mainstream for Newscasters

Rhonda Lee is not the first natural-haired newscaster, so what’s all of the fuss about? There are more natural-haired newscasters now than several years ago.

 

Rene Syler, co-host of CBS News’ The Early Show several years ago, speaks candidly about how natural hair is more acceptable for newscasters now than when she first started in the business.

 

Tonya Mosley is a TV Newscaster  in Seattle, Washington. Initially, after she did the “big chop” she expected a lot of negative comments and push back, but she received the exact opposite!  She gets tons compliments and positive emails!

In 1971, Legendary New York City television reporter Melba Tolliver was banned from WABC’s studio after she went from relaxed to natural. She had been assigned to cover Trisha Nixon’s White House wedding and they suggested she either relax her hair back or wear a head scarf. A local newspaper got wind of what was going on.The public responded incredibly positive to her hair change, even people who didn’t care for her natural hair thought the choice of hairstyle was her right.  Decades later Tolliver  still wears her hair chemical free.

Earlier this year, Rochelle Ritchie of WPTV-TV in West Palm Beach, Florida decided to go ‘natural’ and let viewers see the transformation. Rochelle discussed this journey with her fellow newscaster. Her news director said,” I had no clue this was an issue. I never heard about it. I instantly bought into this story.” His only concern was that the viewing audience wouldn’t care; however, this turned out not to be an issue. During the process, the ratings of Ritchie’s show increased and she received national attention and support.

Watch MHP on MSNBC

There are others such as  Denise James, Michel Martin, Farai Chideya and most notably Melissa Harris Perry who hosts her own news show on MSNBC.

 

 

The commentary that led to Rhonda Lee’s firing

On Oct. 1, a viewer identified as Emmitt Vascocu wrote, “the black lady that does the news is a very nice lady.the only thing is she needs to wear a wig or grow some more hair. im not sure if she is a cancer patient. but still its not something myself that i think looks good on tv. what about letting someone a male have waist long hair do the news.what about that (cq).”

Rhonda’s response –   “Hello Emmitt–I am the ‘black lady’ to which you are referring. I’m sorry you don’t like my ethnic hair. And no I don’t have cancer. I’m a non-smoking, 5’3, 121 lbs, 25 mile a week running, 37.5 year old woman, and I’m in perfectly healthy physical condition.

I am very proud of my African-American ancestry which includes my hair. For your edification: traditionally our hair doesn’t grow downward. It grows upward. Many Black women use strong straightening agents in order to achieve a more European grade of hair and that is their choice. However in my case I don’t find it necessary. I’m very proud of who I am and the standard of beauty I display. Women come in all shapes, sizes, nationalities, and levels of beauty. Showing little girls that being comfortable in the skin and HAIR God gave me is my contribution to society. Little girls (and boys for that matter) need to see that what you look like isn’t a reason to not achieve their goals.

Conforming to one standard isn’t what being American is about and I hope you can embrace that.

“Thank you for your comment and have a great weekend and thank for watching.

I applaud  Lee’s response to the viewer because reinforces Sporty Afros motto – #HealthOverHair.

The viewer replied and agreed that Lee was right to be proud of who she is. He also indicated that he was not a racist, but “. . . this world has . . . certain standerd (cq). if youve come from a world of being poor are you going to dress in rags?. . .”

WOW!! I mean, for real?

The news station’s lack of consideration for Rhonda Lee

Most stations edit comments  on their social media outlets. Sometimes they even block certain accounts/people if their comments are deemed inappropriate, racist or sexist.  Apparently, the news station wasn’t very involved when it came to the comments about Rhonda Lee and her hair or other racially insensitive comments.

 

 

Another comment read:

In a Nov. 14 post, viewer Kenny Moreland wrote,

“Not to start any trouble, because I think that the annual ‘Three Minute Smile’ is a great function and I love to see kids so happy. Am I the only one that has noticed that this year, all the kids, lets say, are people of color? This is Channel 3, not KSLA, the ‘Project Pride’ network, that might as well be part of the BET Channel. Did KTBS slip up on a news story, and owe S’port’s criminal mayor Cedric, a favor? Seems like some racism going on to me. Just saying…..”

Lee replied the next day,

I’m not sure I understand your comment, ‘…this is Channel 3 not KSLA…’ What are you trying to say?

“The children are picked at random. So there goes your theory that they are selected for their color. I would like to think it doesn’t matter who the child is. If you truly just want to see the kids happy your message had a funny way of showing it.

“Happy holidays.–Met. Rhonda Lee”

Rhonda Lee explains why she responded to the viewer.

I was the one who brought it to their (news station’s) attention after they let it fester on the page for 6 days, but was then chastised for responding at all. I sent a screen grab to my boss via e-mail telling them that I’m ok with the anti-Rhonda commentary sometimes, but what has been posted at the time was . . . racist, and I asked them to please support me in removing the ones that didn’t encourage thoughtful, respectful and civil discourse on our FB page. I never got a reply, only punished. To this day the posts are still there.”

Lee told Journal-isms, “. . . Race has been the issue with me since I started. That much is VERY true. Weather is an older white boy business and arms have been less than open for a young black girl — a polar opposite. As reported I’ve had more problems here in the south than I have anywhere else in my 25+ years in the business. Perhaps there is a pattern, but I am a glutton for punishment (ha, ha), and I want what I deserve as any professional would so if I have to fight for it I will.”

 

Here are a few things that strike me as odd:

  • The station doesn’t have an official social media policy in place.
  • The station explained to Rhonda that the policy she violated isn’t written down, but was mentioned in a newsroom meeting about a month-and-a-half prior. This is a meeting she didn’t attend.
  • Employees were expected to be held accountable for an unofficial social media policy that was never written down or distributed properly.
  • The station has allowed several comments (negative, rude and offensive)  to be left on their Facebook page.
  • KTBS crime reporter, Chris Redford was fired for responding to a reported gay-stalker from his Facebook account.

After looking at KTBS‘ Facebook account, the station hardly comments or interacts with those who are posting. The reporters/employees seem to respond to questions and comments via their own profiles.  After looking at several of the comments, I was appalled.

Sporty Afros’ Natural Hair at Work

As most of you know, we work full time jobs in corporate America and we wear our natural hair out every day.

 

 

Speak on it…

Do you think the station was wrong for firing her?

Should the station remove negative commentary from their Facebook page?

How do you wear your hair at the workplace?

By day, Alexandria is a Media Relations Manager where she is a go-to resource for travel media worldwide. By night and phone, she is the Co-Founder of Sporty Afros.com. Alexandria has completed numerous endurance races, a triathlete and featured in countless media such as USAT Magazine, JET, Essence and Fox Sports. She is speaker, blogger, foodie and avid Dallas Cowboys fan.

130 Comments

  1. I am appalled that she was fired. Rhonda;’s natural hair is part of her heritage and her culture. How dare someone criticize her on how she chooses to wear her hair. For many decades African American women were made to straighten their hair because society (white) said in order for hair to be beautiful it had to be straight. I am a fifty year old African American women with locks that hang down to my buttocks and my hair is just as beautiful if not more beautiful than processed and chemically treated hair. I have always been truly to myself and my heritage when it came to how I chose to wear my hair! If someone didn’t particular like it, they didn’t have to look at me. The station should allow people to say what they feel as long as it is not disrespectful, but they should also allow those who are the subject of the comments to be able to reply as long it the response is done in a manner that is not disrespectful. I was also taught that if yo u don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all!

    • Great points!

      • I think that people need to understand that even though it is 2012, racism is raw and rapid. Not one of them likes the fact that we have a black president for two terms and then all of the black women accepting who they are in the glorious state that they are in. So we have to accept that we will have to continue the fight to justice. We should just boycott the station and watch their ratings. That’s how we can help her stand out from the rest.

    • Glen Sanders says:

      I am originally from Shreveport. It has always had a backward one sided response in regards to racial issues. The fact that a supposedly professionally run broadcasting station with a news and weather forecast that has loose FB media response guidelines that are not written down for their employees and then holding them accountable is not only unacceptable but ridiculous. It’s the management that she be chastised not the employee that responded responsibly and professionally. I am ashamed for this station. BTW, I am called a white boy by some and no one owes me any favors so let’s not confuse race with whats right and professional. It appears someone brought out the race card and it appears in this case that bigotry was the issue propagated by the station but it was against what what right and professional regarding their employees versus the slanted public opinion (which was in the minority)not against race or gender discrimination. The fact that there is no official media response person that handles the FB responses that represents the station is a sad example of poor management and attention to detail.

    • This is unfortunate. Her response would get most fired from any job. The viewer specifically made reference to her hair being to short; even said something about allowing men with long hair to do the news. The only relevant ressponse is “it will grow”… Not “sorry you don’t like my ethnic hair” and then on & on & ON. Her response rings insecure as she got comfortable in the spotligt with her new look.

      I’m confident she will gain knowledge and strength from this to move forward to better things; working for a company that’s got her back if nothing else.

      • I respectfully dissagree. She is politely and professionally responding to a critisism made about her personal appearance – a critisism that should have never been made to begin with. Was that person the “hair police?” What gave him the right to make a comment to begin with?

        Anyway, she was polite, educational and tactful in her defense. Why would she say “it will grow” if she has no intention of growing it out? I too, wear my hair short, and I saw nothing offensive or unprofessional about her response. BTW, it is made clear in the article that the person making the comment was in no way offended by her response, so where is the problem?

    • So here is the deal, the first comment made was not in the least way offensive he merely stated what he felt was inappropriate for TV which is warranted newcasters can not simply throw something together and jump on TV . There is a unique aspect to the job they are viewed on TV and represent a company for which they are paid. Thus they have stylists and hair people of this I’m sure, therefore her hair must go through some sort of approval in terms of styling, meaning someone must have looked at the final style and said “thumbs up” . Therefore, hair is not the issue so we move on to the undrlying issue here racism. Granted he may have said ” black lady” but that is hardly racist, he just used an adjective in place of her name, or not who knows. Point is it could have been worse, that is the problem it leaves a ton of room for interpretation. Either way my point is there is nothing blatantly racist. As for her being fired, just because she was not in attendance at a meaning doesnt mean she is not held accountable to what was said or made a rule in the meeting. It is her professional responsibility to make her self aware of what went on in the meeting and to make sure she didn’t miss something important. This goes back to school days teachers always said ” if you miss class, it is your responsibility to catch up” well my point is she is a professional and the commentator is just that, she always had more to lose in the transaction and thus she is responsible for knowing that. Point is this is more about her violating some company policy written of otherwise and she broke the rule and was fired. A bit extreme I think so, but alas not my company.

      • ” ..” black lady” but that is hardly racist, he just used an adjective in place of her name, or not who knows. Point is it could have been worse…” really? That’s really ignorant to say.. that’s like saying “ooh she only got stabbed, at least, she didn’t get shot” really..no comment on your long ignorant post.. men these days ..smh

    • Um, nah.
      It’s part of her genes.

  2. Okay Alex here I go. . . 1) yes the station was beyond wrong for firing her, I guess they found her being inappropriate by responding to the viewers but they should have a sense of censorship on comments so their employees wouldn’t be offended which in then forced to respond (sorry but if you offend me, regardless of my setting I will let you know just how I feel (censored of course)

    2) I think answer one covered this, of course our amendment of free speech can be call into play here, but there are stipulations to everything and offensive subjects and offense comments should be removed. Yes maybe they need to create a layout of what criteon is conserved offensive (sounds like some people for this new channel need to head to work, overtime please)

    3) I wear weave but I switch my hair contstantly, but I have plenty co-workers we wear their hair naturally, my hair should have nothing to do with the brilliance inside the brain it covers.

  3. it just makes me sick no one stands up for us and when we doit for ourselfs we r basicly told we should shut up and take it

  4. natural ….she should not have been fired …..

  5. To make matters worse, the station “Highlighted” that post and then “Liked” the original man’s statement about her hair. Whoever is running their FB page is blatantly showing their support for that ignorant man’s comments. The level of immaturity and unprofessionalism being shown to the world by this station is appalling. I’m shocked they even still have viewers!

    • Charles Shank says:

      I am from Louisiana and although I am not shocked, I am angry. There are still a lot of undercover racists and some not so undercover there (David Duke). Although I love my New Orleans heritage, I can not move back because it is too backward at home compared to all of the placed I have been stationed during my 22 year Army career. And after being in an institution that leads the nation in equal opportunity, I cannot move back to a place that leads the nation in racism and bigotry.

    • Wow! I didn’t see that at all!

  6. I LOVED Rhonda Lee! She was always so fun and funny on the air. She was crazy but loveable! Am sad to see this happened…but something tells me that maybe it wasn’t the hair issue, but the excuse they were looking for to get rid of her….

    • Good point!

      • But I will give the writer of the post that caused the controversy a little bit of a break, because of something I just thought about. There was another weather guy, named Skip Kordas, who was on for years. Kinda average looking jocular kind of guy, but he had great hair. Then he went away for about a month and a half. When he returned, he was bald and was gaunt. There was a question: is he sick? KTBS wouldn’t answer; he wouldn’t answer. After several weeks of speculation, they finally addressed the issue Turned out no; he had simply decided to shave his head and liked it that way.

        Did/do I buy that? I’m not sure I do–I think that maybe he was sick, didn’t want any interference or sympathy. The greater point is, this isn’t a new issue, and though I’m not defending the person who made the remark that caused all of this, I just remembered it and thought I would share.

  7. Charles Horton says:

    As usual change has to be driven by economics and not by good common sense. The viewers should withdraw all economic support of this station. When the good old boys are not paid then they become extremely sensitive to bad policies. Boycott all of the companies that advertise on this TV station and you will see the right kind of STORM.

  8. I will speak on behalf of professionalism’s sake. I DO NOT believe she needed to be FIRED for her actions. But, I will say this, in the business of news media, people are going to say whatever they want. The bottom line is, LET THEM TALK!! It would be a pretty silly thing to try and address everyone of their personal opinion of you. It wasn’t a professional thing to do, BUT, I don’t blame her either. I just hope this opens up some bigger doors for her!! But, she definitely shouldn’t WORRY about addressing someone who wants to be negative about her appearance, or any opinion of her personally…

    • Yes. I hope so too. While we all have thick skin, some comments should be removed if found offensive.

      • That is the real problem,not the fact that she responded. She had a right to respond,just as she has a right to wear her hair any way she wants to. The station is wrong for allowing any personal commentary to be posted about their employees. If people want to comment on news stories,fine. But commenting on the looks,clothing,personal styles of the on-air personalities should never have been allowed and the comments removed as soon as they were posted.

  9. This makes me ashamed to be from Shreveport. I can’t believe that these ignorant jerks aren’t ashamed to say such things in a public forum like that. I hope Rhonda Lee sues KTBS into the ground.

  10. Charles Shank says:

    I am extremely disappointed in this station’s management or to be exact their collective mismanagement and lack of leadership. To define it better, leaders encourage, motivate, and protect their employees to achieve greatness by providing purpose, motivation and direction. This include presupposes that all people are different, but that leaders are aware of this and recognize that diversity is a strength that when appreciated and explored brings everyone together. None of these things are present at this TV station.
    If I were Ms Lee I would sue their drawers off for discrimination, freedom of speech, violation of the EEO congressional laws, and anything else that applied. I personally wrote to her to tell her that my wife (natural hair beauty) and I would be personally praying for her. SHAME ON THEM!!!

  11. A ms lee don’t be hurt or even mad its very sad I have to be so truthful. But that how the white people are in the world but hey we have too look past that for what its worth we ass black people are very. Proud. Of you ms lee its just goes too show you many race of people don’t even. Read. The bible cause if they did they would understand most high gave this hair. For a reason. Cause every body had this texture even the Jesus. They so called praise. Had our hair. Of wool!!!

  12. How can we band together to fix this? This is illegal, right? What can we do?

  13. insane, these women are beautiful, however THEY decide to wear their hair….I find this ridiculous..

    How can we stand up against this…

  14. IGNORANCE! That is all needs to be said. White Lady

  15. Monica Chambers says:

    Clearly we must band together & own more stations and more businesses that can dictate policy & behavior. Ownership & economic power makes a difference…it is leverage. Let’s achieve more ownership!

  16. Pingback:What in the world? | Sonique

  17. I don’t understand how her response was bad that she should be fired over it. She was merely explaining why she chooses to wear her hair natural. And the person then prefaced their statement with “I’m not racist but…” and starts going off on European beauty standards. She should sue these people to high heaven.

  18. Hair, Hair, Hair, Hair, Hair, WTH. Why do people think hair is what defines you. You can look like Quasi Moto, but as long as you got long flowing hair, you’re considered beautiful. Hair is not unique, and can be purchased on dang near every corner. What’s unique is full lips, and beautiful dark skin, and thick curves, the features that use to be considered ugly back in the day, but now you have tons of women lined up just to emulate… Now that I got that off my chest, she should sue!

  19. You know, I get the feeling that the hair comment was from an African-American male. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t racist in addition to be misogynist. This situation is definitely disappointing. The station definitely seems to have some issues with race and possibly homophobia.

  20. The mistake Ms. Lee made here, in reference to her 1st amendment right to free speech, is that she responded to these nasty comments while still associating with her station employer. By doing this, she forfeited her right to privacy by displaying her views as being supported and endorsed by the station. This is a sad, sad situation indeed. Chris Redford, the male reporter also fired, made this same mistake in defending his manhood against a sexual stalker. KTBS should have made these two employees more aware of their standing in reference to social media interaction. Both of these employees deserve better, as both were not at fault by any means for defending their pride, heritage and honor. I applaud Ms. Lee for standing up to a close minded bigot such as the man who questioned the stations motivation in choosing its holiday giveaway

    • You bring up a good point. Yes. Chris was fired as well for similar situation. I think the easiest thing would be for the station to remove comments like that from the page. It’s hurtful to employees and is rude.

  21. Vera Nicholson says:

    MS Lee, you did good. I hope and pray you have a good attorney. The best revenge is a big check. I am guessing that you were released because they refused to face the fact that they were demonstrating the same racism as the fb poster. For some reason folks think since they can get on fb and disrespect the POTUS the rest of us should remain mute. I am not the president and I don’t care what you say about me playing the “race card”. You dealt it and I’m playing it!

  22. I wear my hair natural to my job, and I’m proud to do so. I wore a wig my first day of work, but was very uncomfortable with my decision to wear a straight style. I have become so liberated with my decision to become a Natural Black Woman, that I look at myself in a different way if I chose otherwise. It is a total disgrace that we still live in a society where we as Black Women have been completely sensored as the Strong Women we really are! I’m not a racist by far, however, the thoughts have crossed my my many times, that we as A Unique Race of Women, have one thing no other race can have, and that is our Natural Afro! The media, and reality shows depict us as wild and uncouthed with low self esteem to the point that we have to fight one another on televesion. No true. Even a large majority of our black men make negative remarks about us in rap songs. No wonder America feel as if we should wear scarfs and rock their babies as nanny’s and nothing more! I’m all for any movement on behalf of Rhonda Lee! It’s time for all Sistah’s to ban together, and “CLAP FOR THE NAPS!” -Tina Michelle

  23. I think they should have should have someone in charge of monitoring their especially seeing as though this was not the first case of someone being let go for their response also I was blessed my last work place pretty much six people in charge wore their hair nautral also so did most of the volunteers

  24. Beth Ackerman says:

    I live in Shreveport and I definitely think the station was wrong to fire her! She did her job well and with enthusiasm! I’m white and think that men and women who are black look great with natural hair. Natural, healthy hair looks so much prettier than dried out, damaged, relaxed hair. I think it is sad that black people still feel they need to look European in order to be successful. And it looks like if you want to be on camera in Shreveport, you gotta go with the European look.

  25. The station was wrong in the firing of Redford and Lee.

  26. I believe Ms Lee’s choice of hair style as well as her professional measured response to those who would be insulting on the station’s FB page are not the reasons why she was released.

    I speculate she was let go because her mature response to some viewers’ attempts to demean her and the people who participated in a holiday story, was more appropriate than those tasked with the responsibility to answer such issues could muster…she made them look bad. She showed them up…she exhibited way too much class for what sounds to me like a dump of a teevee station. If anything she likely should be made GM of the outlet…seems if an on-air talent has any sense they get pink-slipped.

    There is also the distinct possibility nepotism or cronyism at play here as well. Someone…owner, news director, sales manager, General Manager wants to replace her with a family member or friend…who may not cost them as much in salary and benefits.

    No need to fret Ms Lee will find another gig in the industry, and likely it will be one providing more exposure to a larger audience with better monetary rewards. I believe all is well and Ms Rhonda Lee, meteorologist, is a teevee talent we shall see again!

  27. I so agree with your point that Ms. Lee was actually fired for her display of intelligence. Even today, while we are allowed to break into areas previously closed to us, we are expected to be humble and behave in a manner that would indicate we just made it easy. When we show on our intelligence, they get scared because they don’t think we know much. This is wrong just so wrong. I’m not lawsuit crazy but the station needs a wake up call. And hitting their pockets is the only real way.

  28. I live in Memphis, TN and started my natural journey 2 years ago. Unfortunately, the negative looks and responses that I received during my growing out days (I had a TWA) were from other black women and black men with comments such as “Why did you cut off all of your hair, are you trying to look like a man? Sadly, many of us still have not managed to fully embrace the natural look ourselves. So, how can we really expect others to do so? So Happy To Be Nappy

  29. Pingback:WTH! Weather Woman Fired For Responding To Comment about Her Natural Hair

  30. I think the station was wrong for firing her but they obviously didn’t want her there to begin with or any longer.
    Any work place should always stand behind their employees as long as the employee is doing their job & not breaking rules/laws. Good riddance to that non-supportive, ignorant station. If Rhonda is good at her job, other opportunities will open up.
    Most workplaces, especially in media need to have at least one social media person, to handle issues like that. I thought that was the norm in media. I guess not. The station needs to have policy regarding what is acceptable & what is not. If people cross the line, their comments are taken down.
    I work from home now, but when I didn’t I wore my hair natural & no one at work ever had a problem with my natural hair.

  31. I know that I’m going to be the minority with my response, but it’s my opinion and food for thought. I am a 42 year old educator in Shreveport and I wear amy hair natural. Just like all thing, not everyone likes it (including a guy I dated, my dad and grandma) and they don’t mind expressing that they prefer me with straight hair or a weave…I just tell them that I like it and I rock it.
    In my opinion, Rhonda took her response to his comment to a new level. The viewer simply stated that he didn’t like her hair…she made it racial with her response. That’s just like a woman going in on her mate bc he simply asked her “Are you going to wear that?” Her interpretation of his comment is the only problem here.
    I too enjoyed watching Rhonda and meeting her and I don’t agree with get termination from KTBS, but her comment was out of line.

    • I understand your point. While she has a think skin from commentary and on her hair, the station allowed these comments to stay on their page and not be removed.She found is offensive and it can be upsetting. I think you do make a valid point and commend you for looking at it with a different lens.

  32. I am a white 60 year old woman and I loved Rhonda Lee. She brought me laughter at 4:30am every morning while getting ready for work. She made my day!I am appauled that KTBS did this to her. Rhonda I am so sorry and apologize for these idiots that posted on your facebook about your hair> I love your hair. These posts were uncalled for and remember Rhonda, “What Goes around WILL come around!” I would Love to meet these people-I bet you they have no life and people like this likes to start trouble anywhere they goe! Haters are what they are.Good Luck to you Rhonda and God Bless!

  33. Typo—-Go not Goe! Sorry!

  34. Sue! Sue! Sue! for worngful termination and get paid Big Time for the station’s stupidty. As long as my hair is groomed who cares how I ware it. The commentor is just that, an uninformed comentor.

  35. I am a mother to 5 multi-racial children (Puerto Rican and African American) All of my kids have varying degrees of curly hair and my husband and I are teaching them to LOVE and be proud of. the fact that people are somehow intimidated by a woman of color embracing their culture and ethnicity is a sad commentary about how far we still have to go in this country in terms of racism. Ms. Lee is a lovely woman, who is smart and beautiful. She has a bright future and good things will come to her.

  36. This is exactly why i will not put anymore chemicals on my own hair and why I am teaching my daughter to love her natural hair. she is 11 and has never had any chemicals on her hair. Thanks be to GOD that these people can get exposed now so we know just what we are up against. Rhonda needs a good Lawyer.

    • I think if she had issues with it being straight, then she made the right decision to look presentable with healthy hair in its natural state than unhealthy.

  37. I’m confused about what policies her comments would have violated. I see her comments as polite, informative, and respectful. Being fired over them appears to be unfair and downright petty. I work in an office with over 100 other people. I frequently go out in the ‘field’ to meet with clients. I am an engineer. I have natural hair and I wear it every day. My hair is either braided or in a puff (like right now) – it’s always neat, professional, and now my opinion of beautiful. I wouldn’t consider it any other way!

  38. Jose Gonzalez says:

    As a Puerto Rican male who likes to sport an afro during the winter months, keeps my head warm, I find this stations actions not only wrong on all levels but overtly racist. It seems they have actually stuck up for the people making racist comments instead of backing their employee who was being attacked! But then again It is Texas so I’m not really shocked. Rhonda come work at a station in New Jersey where your hair will not be mocked, but celebrated for its beauty.

  39. It’s sad to hear stories like this. I don’t think Rhonda’s comments were mean, instead educating since obviously some need to be told something good.
    I wear my hair natural mainly in an afro, but eventually would like to expand and try different styles (keeping in professional), but at times I worry about how “some” will view and treat me. So far, no major issues, but have received some looks (not in a good way). I even co workers who are so fascinated with my hair that they want to touch it. lol at times, but not so much when I spent some time fluffing it out ;o)

  40. Blacks Talk Too Much. After you finish talking, flood the station Rhonda was fired from with news articles, cartoons, and personal notes about N. America being anti-Kemetic (Black/Afrikan) and Afro-/Afri-Phobic. They are just so used to mammyfying and mistressing our females, they want them all to conform to a white female stature. Willie Lynch has spoiled white males with your submissiveness to them. Get aboard B/females. I always see you all talk about how strong, independent and proud you are. Let’s see how proud you are to stand-up and represent your sister through this struggle; without whites pumping you up, or joining the cause? I’m a male and I’m looking up their addresses now! I wonder if that viewer writes in about white females with no breasts and buttocks? Or, the older one’s when their skin strats to crack?

    • Everyone from a variety of different races have been pulling into support her. The main issue was that the station liked the viewers comment about her hair.

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  42. Pingback:Fired for defending your natural hair? « Random Ramblings of a Zumba® Addict

  43. I just want to say that KTBS really let me as well as other viewers down with the narrow minded,antiquanted ways of thinking. Ms Lee was a breath of fresh air for this “TEAM”. They put on a front of being Christan and Religious with Rick Row all but I guess that is only correct if your white and blonde. OOOhhh by the way I am white and find this hypocritical behavior unexcusable. I beleve a GOOD lawyer is in order and a new Director could get this huge problem under control.

  44. My hair is napptural and that’s how I wear it work. I don’t ask to keep your hair blonde because red streaks doesn’t “look good professionally” so don’t be telling me to change my hair either. It is not happening. I think the company should remove rude, hateful comments from their page as oppose to condoning such behavior, by firing the victim, to whom the comments were directed. That’s wrong on so many levels.

  45. I am discussed that someone would be fired for such a frivolous thing. Women are not objects we are all different sizes shapes and even hair. So what next you will be fired for cutting your hair, or god forbid coloring it. If it was a man would he have been fired? You are a news media channel whoever made the decision to fire this lady should be fired. She is a beautiful woman proud of her heritage we need more role models like her for our children. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  46. I don’t think Ms Lee should have been fired. However I think race was read into the comment about her hair. The statement ‘black lady’ was use to identify who the poster was talking about. Beyond that I don’t race was implicated. I do believe Ms Lee became defensive perhaps due to other times in her life that her ‘ethnic’ was an issue. I think it is important the when such things are an issue for others, we need to leave out at that, their issue. As long as we are comfortable with ourselves, someone elses opinion doesn’t matter.

  47. I think that it is very unfair for them to fire Rhonda Lee i think that her hair is beautiful,I woke up and went to the barbershop a week ago and now im a natural just like Ms. Lee, My daughter is natural also.

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  49. How anyone can make excuses for the behavior of the station, the viewer, or the outcome has not experienced life as some of us have. The idea that this young lady’s hair is an issue at all is a disgrace. What difference does her hair have to do with her job performance? No one would question the hair of someone white, and there plenty of people on TV that could and should be picked apart for their dress as well as hair. And to have fired her for defending herself is even more ill-moral. If there were a problem with her hair why did they hire her? And to allow a viewer to make decision for them is insane. This station does not deserve it’s license.

  50. Copy of a message to facebook.com/emmitt.vascocu
    Rhonda Lee didn’t deserve to be disrespected for sporting short hair.
    Like television, Facebook is a public forum and as such certain standards should be maintained that your profile image falls far short of. My advice to you is that you move out of your sinful glass house before you throw ANY hateful, ignorant, venomous stones.

  51. Monica Ozaydin says:

    She is a beautiful woman and I do not see anything wrong with her responding to the criticism. I do not know what it is like to be an African American woman but I so know of the double standard that many women have to endur everyday. Women are made to feel like they are inferior to men and are held to standards that men are not held to. This person needs to realize that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors and ethnic backgrounds. There are too many ignorant people in this world.

  52. Copy of a wall post to facebook.com/KTBS3
    Rhonda Lee deserves better than the treatment she received at the hands of KTBS 3 News. As an employer does the station not feel the need to demonstrate loyalty or ensure duty of care towards station employees? Ms. Lee’s situation is unjust and should be rectified before Ms. Lee feels the need to seek legal redress.

  53. She should fight the firing through legal channels only to protect the next person of color

  54. Pingback:Rhonda Lee Fired For Responding To Facebook Comment About Her Hair

  55. Rhonda this just puts you one step closer to your true destiny, cause that job was holding you back from God’s plan for your life. Any company that will not speak up when their employee is being subjected to racism is not worhy of your talent. There is something bigger and better out there for you. I wear locs, own my business and sign my own checks….we can do our own thing!

  56. Pingback:Natural Hair News Anchor FIRED over FB comment | Miss Otha

  57. I will say this comment which may be a little unpopular. First, I read the posts and thought to myself that there was not anything wrong with the way she responded to the comments. On the otherhand, when considering it from another perspective I wondered why she even responded to these viewers comments at all. I do not think that other high level people in the media would respond directly to the individual comments that viewers make in that type of forum. I do however think that her employer should have had someone who was responsible for responding and taking care of the FB page. I do not think individual newscasters she debate with viewers in an online forum. Maybe that was the issue her employer had with her. I do not think that she would necessarily win a case about her termination. I think she should learn from this lesson and move on.

  58. Darian Agnew says:

    It’s painfully obvious that this station was looking for a reason to fire Ms. Lee. This may be a blessing in disguise for the young lady. I can only imagine the environment she had to put up with while employed there.

  59. 1) the news station is incredibly dumb for firing this news anchor because of her hair. As women, our hair is a source of pride for us. Honestly, I cannot even believe I just read this story. I grew up in Atlanta and I always loved Monica Kaufman because of her ever changing hairstyles. As a white woman, I covet black women and their gorgeous curly natural locks! We always want what we can’t have, right?
    2) I grow exhausted from all of this “PC” BS that we hand to deal with these days. Those who have careers working with the general public know how many crazy, miserable and negative people are out there. nothing can be done to make them happy, not now, not ever. So, if I had been in that situation where somebody is complaining that only “black kids” are receiving A good time from a community event and that they should be displayed on thd BET channel, my reply is WTF?!?!? How could you even say that? I highly doubt that s 5 year old comprehends thd difference between her and her Asian friend, white friend, Indian friend, whatever. THEY’RE KIDS!!!! They only learn of racial hatred because of jackasses like that person all butt hurt about the race of the children. it sickens me. Step up news networks. Stop trying to please the people who are just plain offensive. DELETE DELETE DELETE!!!!
    3) I wear my hair however I want to because I can. I mean, seriously? If someone I work with gets upset over MY HAIR then they clearly don’t have enough things on their own end to care about. Well groomed and clean is all that matters.

    This Reporter (excuse me, but calling her that black lady really really offends me) seems passionate about her career her community and making a difference. I bet if she was a white man she would have been given a raise and a key to an office. Whatever this news station is, I recommend this- GROW A PAIR

  60. Shame on you KTBS! I read Rhonda’s response and it was sensitive not in the least offensive like the OP’s and I will use this as an example for my 2 kids of colour,who love themselves but are very sensitive about their hair,which just SHOULDNT be like that.Unfortunately they’ve had to endure losts of negative comments before,even though they always have braids.God made us,the way He thought BEST.He doesnt make mistakes!Good for you Rhonda,for enlightening these ignorant,small world view rasists.Your comments were much kinder than what mine would have been.

  61. Pingback:Meteorologist Loses Her Job After Responding to Natural Hair Comments | Black and Married With Kids.com - A Positive Image of Marriage and Family

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  63. The station was wrong for firing her, especially since they had no written policy in place stating that the wearing of natural hair was prohibited. I don’t particularly find that the comments were disrespectful enough to be taken down. An opinion was simply being expressed; the comments should be left up and she and other reporters should be allowed to respond to them should they choose.

  64. Camille Weeks says:

    So many of us in Shreveport loved seeing Rhonda’s weather reports…she was smart, funny & beautiful! We are sad KTBS fired her over this… We know there are great things ahead for her

  65. Pingback:Station Says Axing Was About Policy, Not Hair |

  66. We should all ban the station,!,,!!!!!!

  67. Pingback:Rhonda Lee Fired: TV Station Responds To Meteorologist’s Claim She Was Fired For Facebook Comments About Her Natural Hair « Innerstanding Isness

  68. Alexia Huart says:

    I am appalled that in the year 2012 our society is still dealing with such absurdity.
    We as women in America, of African descent, should not have to yet endure this ignorance. To you, Ms. Lee, please know that we are immensely proud of you. You are well educated, well prepared professionally, and immeasurably secure in your own skin and beauty. May you continue to be the model of success and present to the world our own measuring stick of beauty, self esteem, and pride.

  69. Lillie Brown says:

    As God gave it to me I accept it, embrace it, love it. Twenty years ago I vowed to go natural and lock my hair, (not a very popular choice for a 60 yr old in 19992). The inner transformation has been incredibly.

  70. Now who’s fault is that she didn’t attend the meeting or find out the details of the meeting prior to her termination?

  71. I believe the station was wrong in firing her. but at the same time I do not think it’s right for them to erase the negative comments unless it was in appropriate with vulgar and profanity laced words.

    She opened herself to critics when she responded to the poster. Ms. Rhonda as a black man I am willing to support you when you are right but will also let you know when you are wrong.
    I have several blogs, one of which is a controversial one and I have been slammed very hard numerous of times but yet I have never deleted a harsh post because I come to realize that I open myself to it and would be unfair as a person with authority to delete them do so.

    So with that being said perhaps next time you would be able to control your emotions and not respond to all comments being made towards or of you. Some comments are best being ignored.

    I certainly hope you are employed again soon, there’s no fun in being unemployed. Best wishes and happy holidays.

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  73. Nancy Jaynes says:

    The station was completely out of line. Rhonda Lee wrote back with a very respectful tone. Clearly, her intent was to edify, not denigrate, the man who had posted the insulting comment. Why would a station fire someone who took the time to respond in such a thoughtful manner? Absurd!!!

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  75. Please forgive me for being “off-topic”, but I’d like to ask the lady in the picture above (red jacket over pale yellow top) what products you use to get your hair like that? My hair is a similar length to yours and I’m going back to work in about 2 weeks time and want to go in with natural hair. I’m new to this so any help appreciated!

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  77. I’m a little late here but I have nothing but respect for this woman…

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